SA, Argentine citrus growers to voice 'sustainability' concerns in Europe

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SA, Argentine citrus growers to voice 'sustainability' concerns in Europe

South African citrus growers are set to raise concerns with European retailers over increasingly tough pesticide residue limits which they claim are threatening the industry's sustainability.

The Citrus Growers Association (CGA), Citrus Research International (CRI) and Argentine growers are scheduled to meet European Union (EU) importers, retailers, regulators and key stakeholders in Brussels on Oct. 2.

CRI head Professor Vaughan Hattingh, said EU regulations were less of a problem than the specific requirements retailers were imposing.

"We are looking forward to having an engagement. We will have a debate with them about consumer assurance and sustainability issues. Let's see how it goes." he said.

The CGA said it hoped to have a "constructive and robust" discussion about providing reliable consumer assurance while protecting the environment, consumers, workers and economic sustainability.

The delegation will also meet with major U.K. retailers to discuss their plant protetction programs and how they can offer customer guarantees.

"These types of engagements are seen as critical especially in light of the need for citrus growers to have appropriate tools for compliance with phytosanitary regulations and to address emerging problems such as resistance to some pesticides," the CGA announced in a statement about the trip.

Related stories: Tight residue rules leading to more fruit decay, says consultant

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